Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Why have Republicans not come around to Ron Paul?
Most participants in online debates are familiar with Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The implicit corollary, of course, is that the first person to descend to such a comparison automatically forfeits the debate. Oddly enough, though, I don’t remember electing anyone named Godwin to legislate for me. And more importantly, that corollary is — or can be — quite stupid.
Godwin’s Law, by treating Nazi Germany as some sort of unique, metaphysical evil in human history, essentially nullifies its practical lessons for people in other times and places. Although Nazi precedents are now used as symbols of ultimate evil — just look at Darth Vader — they didn’t seem anywhere so dramatic to the German people at the time they were happening.
Nazi repression came about incrementally, in the background, as people lived their ordinary daily lives. Each new upward ratcheting of the security state was justified as something not all that novel or unprecedented, just a common sense measure undertaken from practical concerns for “security.”
After all, the bulk of Hitler’s emergency powers were granted by the Reichstag after a terrorist attack (blamed at the time on communists), a fire which destroyed the seat of Germany’s parliament. Any parallels to 9/11 and USA PATRIOT are, of course, purely accidental. Each new security clampdown, after an initial flurry of discussion, was quickly accepted as normal because it didn’t affect the daily lives of most ordinary people. And of course, those ordinary people had nothing to fear, because they’d done nothing wrong!
The “American Exceptionalism” that people like Sarah Palin appeal to is just the converse of the Nazi Exceptionalism implied by Godwin’s law. “American Exceptionalism” is a stupid ideology. It demands from its adherents a belief that the American people — and the American government — represent some special race of creatures who couldn’t possibly behave the same way normal, run-of-the-mill human beings have behaved throughout history.
The American response to the post-9/11 security state really isn’t all that different from that of the German people in the 1930s. Every expansion of the surveillance state meets widespread responses like “I have nothing to hide.” The TSA’s de facto internal passport system for air travel is defended by many people in these words: “If you don’t like it, don’t fly. If it saves one life, the inconvenience is worth it.”
A friend recently told me of being asked by a fairly “liberal” family member, in response to her complaints about the NDAA’s provisions for indefinite detention of “terror suspects” without criminal charges: “Why should someone like me who’s not doing anything wrong be afraid of it?” The common response, just as with the Nazis, is to take the government’s justifications at face value and accept that they mean well. Take off your tinfoil hat — after all, we were attacked!
The American people, like the Germans, generally also take at face value the “defensive” nature of the American state’s foreign policy. I remember seeing a Democratic Congressman on C-SPAN, defending Clinton’s Balkan adventures in the ’90s, say “I was taught in school that America has never gone to war for a square foot of land or a dollar of treasure.” Using Chomsky’s “person from Mars” thought experiment — looking at the role of the United States in the world as an alien would, judging the actions of the United States by the same standards one would use to judge comparable actions by any other country — is labeled “Blame America First.”
The tenor of CNN’s coverage of Russia’s “aggression” against Georgia in August 2008 was hardly different from that of the German press in response to Poland’s alleged aggression against ethnic Germans in Danzig in 1939. And if the United States attacks Iran based on a recycled version of the Iraqi WMD lies of nine years ago, you can be absolutely certain the major news networks will dust off the red-white-and-blue bunting and the Wall of Heroes, reporting America’s “defensive” action against the “Iranian threat” as straight news. After all, things like the Diem overthrow and the Tonkin Gulf Incident have nothing at all in common with the SS black flag operation in Danzig.
People are people, and the lessons of history apply to all of us. If you kid yourself otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a fall.
by Kevin Carson at Center for a Stateless Society republished under Creative Commons
"Oh holy hell!" he shouted to himself. Goddamn engine 2! He'd taken his own advice and driven to work at super slow speed, but now he found himself stuck in traffic on the way home in the afternoon. What had he been thinking? "Wait a minute, calm down" he told himself. The rush hour traffic was so bad all the cars around him were moving at no more than 20 to 30 mph and his new top speed was faster than that!
Courtesy of Alternet
Last week, the New York Times published a widely discussed article updating an argument that progressive bloggers noticed a very long time ago. It's now well-understood that blue states generally export money to the federal government; and red states generally import it.
TPM published a great map showing exactly how this redistribution works:
Progressives believe in the redistribution of wealth, so we're not usually too upset by this state of affairs. That’s what it means to be one country. E pluribus unum, and all that. We’re happy to help, because we think we’ve got a stake in making sure kids in rural Alabama get educations and seniors in Arizona get healthcare. What’s good for them is good for all of us. We also like to think they’d help us out if our positions were reversed. It’s an investment in making America stronger, and we feel fine about that.
But maybe it's time to admit that we're being played for chumps, and that there are people in the rest of the country who are taking way too much advantage of our good nature. After all: it's now a stone fact that the blue states and cities are the country's real wealth creators. That's why we pay more taxes, and are able to send that money to the red states in the first place. We're working our butts off, being economically productive, going to college, raising good kids, supporting reality-based schools, keeping our marriages together, tending to our busy and diverse cities, and generally Playing By The Rules. And the fates have smiled on us in rough proportion to the degree that we’ve invested in our own common good.
So we've got every right to get good and angry about the fact that, by and large, the people who are getting our money are so damned ungrateful -- not to mention so ridiculously eager to spend it on stuff we don't approve of. We didn't ship them our hard-earned tax dollars to see them squandered on worse-than-useless abstinence-only education, textbooks that teach creationism, crisis-pregnancy misinformation centers, subsidies for GMO crops and oil companies, and so on. And we sure as hell didn't expect to be rewarded for our productivity and generosity with a rising tide of spittle-flecked insanity about how we’re just a bunch of immoral, godless, drug-soaked, sex-crazed, evil America-hating traitors who can’t wait to hand the country over to the Islamists and the Communists.
Ironically, the conservative movement's favorite philosopher had some very insightful things to say about this exact situation. Ayn Rand's novels divided the world into two groups. On one hand, she lionized "producers" -- noble, intelligent Übermenschen whose faith in their own ideas and willingness to take risks to achieve their dreams drives everything else in society. And she called out the evil of "parasites," the dull, unimaginative masses who attach themselves to producers and drain away their resources and thwart their dreams.
Conservatives love this story. They're eager to claim the gleaming mantle of the producers, insisting loudly that their tax money is going to support people (mostly in blue states and cities, it's darkly implied) who won't or can't work as hard as they do. If you want to arouse their class and race resentments, there are few narratives that can get them rolling like this producers-versus-parasites tale.
But the NYT story and that map up there prove beyond arguing that the conservative interpretation of events is 100 percent, 180-degrees, flat-out wrong.
In the political world, every idea conveys a sense of hope to one group or another. Perhaps I should analyze all the different groups I know from my own perspective:
- Communists – This group is largely extinct mostly due to the fact that every major communist regime has effectively proven itself to be an utter waste of time and a needless waste of human lives. There are still plenty of communists out there, who still believe in the foolish illusion that it can work because the next time we will get it right.
- Socialists – What makes this group distinct from the Communists is that they will try and get approval of the people before enslaving them to the State instead of just outright conquest. This was the key difference that Karl Marx introduced as pretty much all of his other ideas were just repackaged from older ideas like those of Robert Owen. I suppose Marx’s greatest achievement was his superior marketing strategies that involved coercion and violence. As for the Socialists, their marketing strategy always has something to do with the rich being against the poor and that if you elect them, they will make things right. Their policies, however, tend to favor the rich and spite the poor as they need to maintain their voter base. I mean think about it: if you had a solid group of people devoted to keeping you in power, would do something to fix their problems and risk getting voted out or would you keep their problems going in order to maintain your lot in life?
- Corporatists – This group makes up the heads of the Republican party as well as many of the Democrat party. They are the ones who will insist on regulations, mandates, controls, and making government better for everyone, in whatever way they suggest. This is probably the core premise of modern politics with the banks being at the front of the line when it comes to receiving power and prestige. In any case, the corporatists do not call themselves such and usually refer to themselves as “capitalists” in the respect that they believe in a free market, provided that the options given are at their discretion.
- Conservatives – When I refer to conservatives here, I mean the ones who come from the vein of William F. Buckley, Jr. In other words, these are group of yahoos who believe that government should be limited and constitutional but when it comes to foreign policy, we should spare no expense (or the expense of our children to the 20th generation). In other words, the constitution, which they so revere in one sentence, is not important when it gets in the way of their inherent militarism. Then it is usually said that the Constitution is “not a suicide document” and rationalizations are made for their hypocrisy.
- Constitutionalists – This group is often confused with the libertarians, but in fact they are a group that seeks to take most national issues back to the states. While it is certainly a noble cause, I find that most state laws are meaningless and stupid, much like many of the Federal laws. The problem is that while I agree that our national government should be limited by the boundaries outlined in the Constitution, they tend to forget key things. For example, I have yet to come across one Constitutionalist who demands that the House of Representatives be increased in to 10,334, since the ratio is supposed to be 1 for every 30,000.
- Libertarians – This group I identify as the minarchists, those who wish to minimalize government in all aspects of life and only keep them around to maintain justice and peace when necessary. While I do admire their goals, I have a quick question: if people sometimes have a tendency to act criminal, which necessitates the intervention of government, then why would the criminals not attain the reigns of power? While their model is certainly something of reverse-Utopian hope, where all problems are solved once government gets out of the way, mostly because government creates these problems in the first place. But it is not government itself that is the problem, but the individuals in government. I know, this is probably a straw man argument here, but I think the point that so long as individuals are prone to acts of irrational aggression against other individuals, there is always a chance for them to take over.
- Anarcho-capitalists – This group largely believes that a total free market is the solution for people in that it asserts the individual is sovereign (I agree) and that you can live in a world without institutional coercive force. The problem is that when coercive force is employed by one individual against another, a reactionary force is needed to rectify the problem. This is not something that can be solved by the lack of government necessarily. They also say that their system would limit the movement of hardened murderers, which I find laughable as well as tragic for said murderer’s victims.
- Anarchists – I know, this group is distinct in that they believe in no government but also that we should be organized in a communal nature. If you ever read Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed, you’ll get an idea of how their ideal society works. The problem is that if someone wanted to do something on their own, they would have to be forced back into the fold of the commune as it were. Or face rejection when they needed help from others for turning their back on the community. Another possible straw man, I know, but I think keeping people in communes would require the use of coercive force in conjunction with some central planning of some kind.
In essence, there is no system or ideal that can fix the problem of man. As far as I am concerned, one should not advocate a particular ideology per se, but instead advocate an introspective nature where one creates a better version of oneself before setting out to change the world. The best way in which you can change someone else is through the example of your life, which is the sum total of your decisions, not checking some box in a voting booth or writing a blog to complain about the countless assholes running our world. Many of them are there because of the massive human desire to be ruled over by someone else and thus outsource their own responsibilities.
Personally though, I say everyone should go away and leave me alone to live my life how I choose, provided I bring no harm to others. Unfortunately, that sentiment hardly ever crosses anyone’s mind these days.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Romney has been waiting for next week since 2008. He’s been preparing, campaigning, glad-handing, stumping, and, perhaps most importantly, eating more hot dogs than anyone who makes that much money ever has before. Given tonight’s results, you can expect either Gingrich (my pick), Santorum, or both to drop out sometime after Super Tuesday.
All the big stories came out of Michigan. Arizona may as well have not even happened, and for this reason, I won’t even mention it again.
Santorum apparently paid for robocalls to registered Democrats that encouraged them to vote Santorum, since the Michigan primary was open to anyone of any political affiliation. Perhaps not realizing it, many Democrats were already doing this, because most people who are paying attention realized that Santorum is completely and utterly unelectable. A vote for Santorum is a vote for Obama’s re-election, in a sense.
In response, Mitt Romney took offense at this… even though in the past, he has publicly admitted to voting in Democrat primaries against candidates he didn’t like. Add it to the ever-growing list of Romney flip-flops.
Many people may have realized the campaigns took a decidedly social turn these past few weeks, and this is largely because the economy has begun turning around. Sure, you still have stalwart conservatives trying their best to spin the recovery…
“… unemployment isn’t REALLY down…”
“… the deficit, blah blah blah…”
“… gas prices are still high…”
… but ultimately, the same numbers Republicans and Fox News were using to condemn Obama are showing he turned things around, so they decided it was best to start focusing on the bigotries of Republicans at a time like this, because Republicans hate them some faggots and bitches regardless of what the DOW is doing.
What I don’t think they realize, however, is that everything they say is being recorded and televised. Those “debates” aren’t just for the benefit of an audience of Republican psychopaths who cheer the idea of making rape victims keep their attacker’s child. Everyone is hearing what they’re saying, and the overwhelming majority are basically only thinking about one thing when watching the Republican campaigns:
“Damn it… I can’t believe I am going to vote for Obama again.”
I promised an announcement for Super Tuesday, and if you know anything about how predictable I am, then I’m sure you already guessed I’ll be live-blogging the results of Super Tuesday. And yes, you can expect me to do the same thing this November for the general election, and maybe for a few Olympic events (I’m a sucker for women’s beach volleyball).
I’ll begin blogging around 9pm, and I won’t quit until the last state’s results come in… or I get tired, whichever happens first. I would like to promise to stick around, but Alaska is notoriously disorganized and is way behind my time zone (I’m in Eastern). I think I can confidently promise to blog until all-but-Alaska are done, but again… Iowa’s final results didn’t come in until weeks later, so I can’t rely on Republicans to get their shit together and be done in a reasonable amount of time.
Still, I will stay up late and keep you updated on all races as they come in. I will have a different format to my post than I do during the State of the Union, namely, I will have the states listed at the top of the post with the results being updated as I get them, and any interesting tidbits I find will be added into a special notes section underneath all the results. The notes may be organized by state, but I have a feeling that won’t be necessary, as it’s likely that many states will be predictable and uneventful, like… the other state that had a primary today besides Michigan which shall not be mentioned.
Hope to see you online with us next Tuesday.
- Abraham Lincoln
With its "new" powers to lock up without trial and murder US citizens at the drop of a hat, the US goverment is of course the ultimate terrorist oragnization. It has even labeled its enemies as those who oppose it and its acts of aggression: "Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned"-FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists
Well, it's time to set the record straight as to who the real extremists are! Obviously it is those who support the world's leading terrorist group and want to subect you to its evil.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Some are saying Michigan will be a hard fought, make-or-break state for Romney, but this is largely coming from news media that has been trying desperately throughout the nomination process to make this appear like a real battle. Yes, Romney is from Michigan, and yes his father was the governor, but Michigan is not going to go to the Republicans in 2012 anyway (just as Massachusetts won’t, either).
Santorum always polls well in the Midwest, which is full of people who eat up Santorum’s brand of invasive theocracy. I’m from the Midwest, and I can tell you, the people there (especially the conservatives) are decades behind the times, so Santorum’s fag-bashing, woman-hating, Bible-thumping rhetoric hits home for these inbred, ignorant products of white-flight.
It’s entirely possible at this point Romney will still win Michigan, however, especially given the new alliance he has with Ron Paul. There’s nothing like conspiracy theories about the candidate adored by conspiracy theorists. Ron Paul has conveniently not attacked Romney, while Romney has all but ignored Paul (making one off-handed remark in January about how “one candidate” will do anything to avoid war with Iran).
Paul’s cult following blubbers on about how this just couldn’t be true of their savior, but their Dear Leader’s son, Rand, is already talking about how “it would be an honor to be considered” for Romey’s VP slot. There’s also talk of Ron Paul himself angling for a cabinet position in back room deals that have resulted in Paul’s Super-PACs attacking Santorum using the same rhetoric and language as the Romney campaign.
Personally, I’m skeptical. Why would Ron Paul be working so closely with Mitt Romney? I mean, Mitt is a horrible guy and all, but he’s no white supremacist.
While I still think Romney can win Michigan through brute force of advertising alone, he shored up his lead in Arizona this week when he picked up an endorsement from Gov. Jan Brewer in Arizona (pictured below, reacting to the knowledge that her state used to be Mexico).
You may remember Skeletor from an incident recently when she encountered Obama on the tarmac after he got off Air Force One. She chose that time to ask him if he realized that in Arizona, the sky was falling:
Above, Obama is in the middle asking “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Gingrich is still in it, hoping for a win in Ohio and Georgia on Super Tuesday. His continued presence has all but assured Romney’s nomination. The “Not Romney” vote has been spread thin and unevenly, with different regions of the country favoring one candidate over the other (and Ron Paul continuing to win nothing except a lot of high-fives from frat boys who don’t even bother to vote).
Even if every single race Romney has lost had been won by the same candidate, it would still be an uphill climb for them to beat Romney. Romney has been playing for keeps since day one, and his efforts towards winning big on Super Tuesday will pay off spectacularly if he can pick up a large bloc of states.
How important is Super Tuesday? Well, take everything we’ve done so far… and add about 25%. If you count all contests prior to Super Tuesday (including Michigan, Arizona and Washington), there have only been 345 delegates up for grabs (and many of these were non-binding causes and primaries). Super Tuesday constitutes states totaling 437 delegates.
It’s like a game show where the first few rounds don’t even matter, because so many points are awarded in the “lightning round.”
While it’s a little early, I can start making predictions. If Gingrich wins Ohio or Georgia, he’ll be in it a while longer, but if he loses both, expect him to make his exit. Depending on his results tomorrow and on Super Tuesday, Santorum could also depart from the race, especially if he keeps talking publicly (basically every other speech he delivers results in a 1% point fall in his poll numbers).
Santorum can’t coast forever on Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, and he needs a real win with assured delegates. So far, Santorum’s wins have provided him with little more than momentum, which he has squandered by publicly opining on religion and uteruses. It’s almost as if he forgot he’s running for President of the United States, not Pope, and that there’s a general election where he has to actually appeal to voters who are not foaming at the mouth for Jesus.
Paul is poised to continue his low budget assault on all non-Romney opponents. It has become clear Paul’s goal is largely to try to set the stage for libertarianism and his son in the future, as even Paul’s supporters are slowly coming out of their drug-induced fog of blind hope regarding his actual prospects in the race. With Paul’s apparent strategy of gaming the delegate system quickly unraveling, not even the most optimistic Paul-ophiles have any business pretending he is anything but an attention whore at this point.
Still, Super Tuesday may see Paul’s first state win. Paul has an outside chance of winning Alaska, which is a state he polls well in. Alaska will also be decided by a caucus, a format he tends to do disproportionately well in. He also has hopes for performing well in Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota and, of all places, Virginia, where it will just be him and his co-conspirator, Mitt Romney, on the ballot.
Stay tuned tomorrow night, when I’ll blog the results of the primaries, and I’ll make a special announcement about an event I have planned for Super Tuesday…
All Ron Paul haters, please get in your Government Motors piece of crap and drive off a bridge.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I drove to work in the rain and my little Toyota struggled (the nearly bald tires again) to make it up the freeway on-ramp, sending the check engine light into spasms. Frankly, I got scared and almost made the decision to turn around and go home, call out from work. I carried on, however, bravely continuing to the salt mines of wage slavery. I went the long way home after work that afternoon, preferring to avoid the steep grade of the short path, even thought the rain had ceased hours before.
And now, here's our musical director, Harvey Calico, with this Sunday's music. Take it away, Harv!
a fading image
I break glass
I miss touch
can I miss
I've never had?
And I have never
except from myself
does she count
when she never cared?
is not a planet
bellowing into existence
for a moment
in shameless sorrow
Death (expanded edition): The Flooded Heart
Death is not a planet. It is a small and unimportant satellite, exploding into existence as it takes existence away. Remaining for a moment of shameless sorrow, then gone, unnoticed, it is a disappearing magician's egg, swallowed by time and the brief sojourn of left behind loved ones.
My chest is a pond of blood and my dying heart floats upon it, flooded. I declare, in that moment, my desire to live, to be, to accomplish. All my waking hours I spend with the opposite obsession, the dreadful dream of desirable death.
What brings me to this contemplation, to this suicidal mindset? Is it the physical organ or the emotional one? It must be the second, which is really the first. The incorporeal heart, which resides within the matter of the painless brain and yet is the instigator of so much torment, is the only reality that can lead a human soul to the dirty water of the death wish.
I eat my own will. I consume it in large lumps. I allow it to pass through my unstable intestines and finally release it as a waste product. It can no longer sustain me. But it is me, I realize now; I am shit.
Mind arises from matter, but matter gets its meaning from mind. Neither is supreme. Both have always existed in non-existence. Not in the mind of "God", but rather as perfect platonic forms. Their relation to each other is the exact balance, the most exciting example, of a symbiotic relationship. One is not before the other. Even in chronology matter and energy do not come first. Only in the most pedestrian interpretations or sense, is this true.
Matter and then mind. Yes, of course. But matter did not have a name nor know of its own presence until the emergence of consciousness. Thus Mind is first in time, for it acknowledges and interprets matter. But then we are back to the obvious. Matter came first in time and Mind second. But both can be true. It is not one before the other or over the other. The existence of intelligent self-aware beings in the universe is not enough to infer that mind has its perfect incarnation in a deity who exists outside of space and time. As far as we know, and as far as we will probably ever know, mind has its pinnacle of expression in the human race.
And now, Harvey, would you please close out the Sunday post? Thank you! See you next week everybody!
Good Night is the final song by The Beatles on the White Album. It is sung by Ringo Starr, the only Beatle to appear on the song. The music is provided by an orchestra conducted by George Martin. John Lennon wrote this song as a lullaby for Julian Lennon.-http://youtu.be/tCh2TNStcnc
The Arab American News...sees Dr. Paul's refreshing, forthright foreign policy philosophy as one of his greatest strengths at a time when the specter of a potentially catastrophic war looms over festering, misunderstood and misreported conflicts in the Middle East. His positions are perhaps the best hope for even a remotely balanced policy in the troubled region that we've seen in decades.
Paul has also been the only major Republican candidate to resist the type of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant demonization, fear-mongering and pandering to ultra-conservative voters in his party that has become pervasive in the post-9/11 climate, despite continued studies showing that terror threats posed by such groups have been greatly exaggerated coming to light along with polls reaffirming the groups’ affinity for American ideals and patriotism.-Our endorsement: Ron Paul is the right man for the job
Laurette Lynn interviews Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, and talks about the damage done to tender minds by state "education".
Laurette Lynn, host of the Internet show The Unplugged Mom, talks to Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, about how to sustain a truly free society, and her own personal journey towards freethinking.
The Conservative government has called its controversial new electronic surveillance bill the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act as it attempts to win support for the planned laws that would give authorities unprecedented new powers to monitor the online and phone habits of Canadians.-Online surveillance bill ‘will put an electronic prisoner’s bracelet on every Canadian’
Notice how the power grabbers for more state tyranny always use the "protect the children" ruse? It's the same in the US. So a law that allows nearly unlimited spying by a government on all its own citizens becomes a bill to simply stop "online predators" (we'll ignore for a moment the fact that the biggest predator by far is the state itself). Canadian "Safety Minister" (what the hell is a safety minister? T.C., you got some 'splaining to do!) Vic Toews even went so far as to make a Bret Alan style comment, saying of an opponent of his fascist legislation, "He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers."
Sounds kind of like "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists", doesn't it?
I’m not an expert on how the Republican convention system works, but from my understanding, the basic idea is that if it seems like the Republican voters either cannot reach consensus or appear fed up with their options, it’s a possibility that someone who didn’t even run may be elected by the delegates. Delegates have to vote according to their state’s rules in a first round of voting, but if a winner fails to emerge, they can vote for anyone.
I don’t think this will happen; such a candidate will not have been nationally vetted and there would undoubtedly be a feeling of betrayal among some Republicans, that the wishes of the voters could be so blatantly sidestepped by Republican bureaucrats. Still, I thought I would catalogue the possible candidates who didn’t run this year, since SE needs some posts and there’s nothing quite as fun as speculating when I am already confident it won’t happen. It’s like arguing who would win in a fight, Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? [Picard]
Chris Christie is the name I see most often floated around. Frankly, I question anyone who was raised by someone so dumb that they would name their son “Chris Christie.” My wife (who is from New Jersey) has joked that “perhaps he married into it.” Personally, I think he should go by Fat Fattie.
Another governor frequently cited is Mitch Daniels of Indiana, my home state. I think his epic comb-over makes him a crowd favorite among typical Republicans. In all seriousness, he has stayed out of national politics because he sees himself as “too moderate” in comparison to the current crop of candidates. And yet, he’s fought to end funding for Planned Parenthood, he’s fought unions, and he’s fought immigration… but I guess he doesn’t want to ban condoms and porn, so that disqualifies him in the current election.
Jeb Bush is another name being thrown around by some (I’m guessing by Jeb Bush). You know… because America is itching for another Bush presidency.
Sarah Palin is perhaps the most vocally open to seeking a brokered nomination. Is anyone surprised that she, of all people, would be thrilled to have the presidential nomination just fall in her lap? That seems to be how she goes through life: winking and waiting for people to hand her things. She couldn’t even be bothered to finish out her governorship because it was more lucrative to abandon her duty and become a political pundit.
Perhaps the most unusual suggestion I have seen was this article, which suggested Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. I’m guessing the idea here is that he’s black, therefore he’ll be able to beat Obama. His political leanings appear to be little different from Romney, Santorum or Gingrich. Really, he’s like Herman Cain, only his extra-marital affairs are old news.
If we’re just throwing any old name out there, I want to suggest a few: Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. If you’re going for a black candidate, Thomas has no executive experience. I think both Colin and Condi are better qualified and have more relevant experience than Thomas.
Other options I could come up with:
Tom Selleck: Few are aware that this TV icon is the politically active successor as public spokesman for the NRA, taking over after Charlton Heston’s health began failing. He is registered as an independent and describes himself as a libertarian… which means he’s probably most similar to Ron Paul, only he doesn’t seem to have a screw loose.
Ben Stein: Bueller? Bueller? Ben Stein didn’t just take on all comers in a trivia game show where you could win his money, he was also a Nixon speech writer. He is still quite politically active these days, and he even released a stupid movie attacking evolution a few years back, so he seems like the perfect Republican candidate.
Alice Cooper: Ever since I started listening to his syndicated radio show, I’ve become aware of how religious Cooper is. He apparently became a born-again-Christian to get off the drugs and alcohol, a la George W. Bush (a guy he vocally supported). Plus, he hates politics, and I don’t know what else would make you more qualified to be a Republican these days than that quality.
Chuck Norris: Do I really need to explain the appeal here? Just think of the hilarious campaign slogans… “Chuck Norris doesn’t run for president, the president runs from him.”
Mel Gibson: In a year where the candidates don’t care who they offend, Mel is a natural choice. Get a little liquor in him, and he’ll have Republican crowds cheering at his debates with Obama.
Who is your dream Republican nominee?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
It has been a while since I have criticized President Obama, mostly because its too easy, but it is good to remember why the guy is such a big walking waste of human space and air.
Let’s start out with Jack Tapper’s confrontation with Press Secretary:
So basically, President Obama, who promised open government, has decided to prosecute whistleblowers in his own ranks. This is a very dangerous precedent that is unheard of before as not even President Bush pulled this stunt against his own. It is no wonder that the establishment wants Mitt Romney and wants Obama out: he’s hunting down their own.
Another broken promise that Obama has made is his promise to close down the Guantanamo Bay prisons. Now, I know you can make excuses all you want, but the truth is he is the president and he could have made any state take those men and could have the freed the others. Hell, he could have even killed them all with bullets drenched in pigs blood if he wanted, as he has already demonstrated his willingness to kill US citizens overseas for supposed subversive activity.
On that topic, President Obama has basically become judge, jury, and executioner when he had Anwar al-Awlaki killed by a Predator drone. He then had the man’s sixteen year old son killed, who was just looking for his father and was eating barbeque at the time of his death. The justification for the son’s death was that he was afraid he would join forces with a terror cell in response to his father’s death. In other words, President Obama has acted just as a brutal tyrant would. Meanwhile, nobody cares that a mother is crying over the loss of her sixteen year old boy and her husband due to some flimsy, half-assed justification.
On the domestic front, President Obama has become good buddies with the CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt. Suddenly, incandescent light bulbs are illegal while GE owns the patent on the compact fluorescent lamp, but there is nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, if the president wants us all to be more environmentally friendly and enrich himself and Jeffrey Immelt at our expense.
Jeffrey Immelt became the jobs czar (the mere fact that we have czars who are unaccountable to the people and Congress makes me sick) and subsequently moved a lot of his manufacturing to China. Talk about a scumbag. I suppose there was nothing shady in that deal either.
Gas prices are going now too, more than likely as a result of several factors:
- The various quantitative easings that have been taking place. I have my doubts, though, as to the purported impact of expansion of the money supply only because there is much less consumer and business debt right now.
- The closing of off-shore oil drilling due to the regulators blunder with British Petroleum and the inevitable oil spill that resulted. Basically, BP was allowed leeway on their safety inspections, probably in exchange for bribes, and this resulted in the oil spill and explosion.
- The coming war with Iran. President Obama has insisted on going to war with yet another Muslim nation and has ordered naval forces into harms way as a means to provoke them into attacking in order to justify the war. And we’re supposed to think that this warmongering has nothing to do with the rise in the cost of oil?
Let us not forget that President Obama is prosecuting legalized marijuana now as well, something he said he would not do. Of course, I am sure he has good reason for it.
The list could gone on and on about President Obama’s hypocrisy and downright tyranny, which is much, much worse than President Bush’s was. I am not a fan of President Bush (I used to be) as he did everything the wrong way. It made no sense and his primary solutions to problems was more government. None of these solutions worked, by the way, as the Muslim world hates us even more, our economy is still in shambles, and the police state has gotten worse.
Yet for the bad things that President Bush has done, President Obama has gone the extra mile. It is the Obama Way: the wrong way but much faster.
Oh how the mighty are oppressing:
Microsoft declined to answer questions about the kill switch in Windows 8 other than to say it will only be able to remove or change applications downloaded through the new app store. Any software loaded from a flash drive, DVD, or directly from the Web will remain outside Microsoft’s control. Still, the kill switch is a tool that could help Microsoft prevent mass malware infections. “For most users, the ability to remotely remove apps is a good thing,” says Charlie Miller, a researcher with the security company Accuvant.
So let me get this straight: they will not use this “killswitch” for programs obtained outside of Microsoft’s control, but they are making it part of the next Windows OS. Let’s just forget about the fact that the OS you installed is your property (if you paid for it). This whole application could be used for any non-Microsoft product and could easily be modified to do so. Not only that, any outsider could modify it in order to spread their own malicious code, which means more and more security updates associated with this program.
I just love how the big corporate giants enjoy claiming intellectual property rights when it supposedly hurts their bottom line, but if you have claim to one of their products because you bought it, your intellectual property rights are null and void. If you are paying 100-200 dollars for an operating system, don’t you think that you own that product? This is the equivalent of buying a car and then having the dealership turn around and remove the automatic locks or the airbags due to safety concerns in the dead of night, months after your purchase, without your permission.
It is high time we purged the government of these corporate bagmunchers who insist on creating and enforcing these ridiculous laws which only serve corporate giants who play ball with them (or vice versa). The only reason that Microsoft is implementing this feature is because of the intellectual property rights laws. This is why they took down Megaupload, not because people were using it to host “pirated” carefully arranged electronic bits of information, but because Kim Dotcom (yes that is name) refused to play along.
The system cannot sustain itself on its current path, but that does not mean we do not have to understand why. Corporatism also fails eventually, much like Socialism did, because people just tired of the decadence and corruption inherit in it. Microsoft’s latest endeavor in “cutting edge” technology is more evidence of this.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Dear Mr Skeptical Guy
Someone is stalking me! At least that's what I call it. He wants to turn my life into videos. He calls himself "Rascal Lee" but I know that can't be his real name. He says he's been watching me! Frankly, based on his name, i think he's planning on making porn videos with me. I'm scarred!
If you're truly scarred, he may not want you in his sex tapes. Not unless he's making fetish videos.
And by the way, Rascal Lee has booted Nikk and is now running this blog. I'm scarred too!
Dear Mr. Skeptic
I've been noticing less and less posts at Skeptical Eye. Why?
two words: Bret Alan. Also, some one called Swift Fox? What the hell happened to all Swift's posts? I'm guessing they weren't racy enough for Rascal.
Deer mr. Skeptical
More animals please!
We are not here to satisfy your lust for Bambi!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Why does he deserve the award? Because Bradley Manning did the right thing, and for it he was punished.
Support a real American hero, support Bradley Manning.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Of course, as with much in religion in general, and Christianity in particular (with its strange and exclusionary salvation doctrines that now are even controversial with many within the Evangelical community due to the recognition that the pluralistic world and nation we live in isn't going anywhere but is here to stay, with its multiple religions, belief systems and values), the whole thing makes no sense and is full of contradictions. If aborted "babies" go straight to heaven and bypass this whole rotten world and all its trials and troubles, not to mention temptations that could lead one to Hell to burn for eternity, then why wouldn't it be doing them a favor to "kill" them in the womb? Carrying a baby to term would be doing it potential great harm, and would be the far greater offense.
In the age before widespread availability of safe abortions, some Protestant Christian preachers even celebrated what they viewed as the fact that all those dying before birth or in infancy went to Heaven, thus giving the saved a majority over the lost in the soul numbers game between God and Satan. Even though the path is supposed to be narrow and those that find it few, some found it hard to accept that God could lose to the devil in so dramatic a fashion, so they gave God all the dead babies, and they're still doing it. And yet, they view abortion as a horrible evil?
The real danger is the "mainstream" media's statism and political correctness that stifles freedom of speech through fear (witness Pat Buchanan's recent firing by MSNBC).
Apparently I have to be treated like a common criminal and show ID when I want to buy alcohol. Thank you, government, for protecting me from myself, what would I do without you? Mind you, I am quite flattered when a cute 18-year-old cashier asks for my ID, this means I still look hot and young enough to be able to date women her age, which is awesome, and good for my self-esteem. Or maybe she is just trying to memorize my street address, in which case I have a hot stalker. Sweet. But the fact that this is a government-mandated verification is annoying. I can brew my own beer in my kitchen with just barley, hops and water, and maybe I should stick to that instead of submitting myself to the obnoxious ID verification ritual. If this were Canada, they probably wouldn't even ask for my ID, because the drinking age is still 18 over there, and they really don't care that much about enforcing it. The Prohibition was arguably the stupidest, most idiotic thing any government in the history of humanity has ever done. It was more retarded than the god-damn Spanish Inquisition. I should be able to buy beer without showing ID. I don't give a crap if your stupid 16-year old kids are going to drink and crash their POS car into a tree. To hell with your stupid kids; I just want to buy some god-damn beer without being treated like an Auschwitz inmate. What the hell do you think is going to happen if -god forbid- I get my hands on a six-pack of Sam Adams Boston Lager without -gasp!- showing ID? Is the whole world going to come to a fiery end? Get over yourselves, and I hope you trip and fall from your stupid moral high ground and break your weakling little legs, you fools! It's just bloody beer, for crying out loud. I really, really, really want to use the f-word right now. God! I SO want to use that stupid word right now.-The booze police state
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are holding talks in Islamabad focusing on the peace process with the Taliban. It comes as frustration grows in Kabul over the growing number of civilian casualties in the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I wonder what the phony "liberals" who think secession and independence movements are evil (bigger is better wasn't always the mindset on the left; remember "Small Is Beautiful") think about the Hawaiian sovereignty movement? Should the Hawaiian Islands be allowed to leave the tyranny of the "Union"?
"The cause of Hawaii and independence is larger and dearer than the life of any man connected with it. Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station."- Lili`uokalani, Hawaii's last Queen
h/t The Radical Libertarian
I catch Limbaugh up here and do listen to him from time to time. The one thing I've observed is that if you listen to him often enough he's not as "evil" as the MSM labels him. They do twist his angle quite a bit.
I don't see what's so bad in much of what he says. He's annoying yes, and I don't agree with him on some issues but those are his opinions. In fact, I find the comments that come out of Justin Trudeau's mouth to be far more puerile and he's a liberal. I recognize one is a radio personality and the other a politician but still...-T.C. commenting at his post Fall Of Western Civilization Reason #347583721128
Now, I don't care what the MSM labels anyone; they're extremely evil and of course, statist to the core, themselves, but that doesn't make someone like Limbaugh, an outright apologist for crony capitalism (as opposed to real free markets) and neocon militarism (not to mention supporting things such as the drug war, even though Limbaugh himself was a drug addict and was facing felony charges for prescription drug abuse not that long ago) any less evil in his own way.
Obviously, with a pseudo anti-government stand, some things that come out of the mouth of Limbaugh and other prominent right-wing talk radio hosts sound libertarian enough at times to get real libertarians to nod agreement. But Rush Limbaugh and his cohorts would run screaming from real freedom if they ever saw it coming.
So, now that I've established that Limbaugh is evil, how evil is he? Is he more or less evil than a "liberal", less evil than Obama? Certainly he's not as evil as the IRS or the FDA, or the government gang in general, but ultimately, he's not on the side of true liberty, either.
Well, looks as if the babies know what's going on with habitual lying scum. That baby doesn't like Mitt Romney (no one else does either). Obama, well, the baby knows that of those likely to be elected, he's the best of a bad bunch. Baby Bush himself appears to be as repulsed by babies as they are by him (he murdered a lot of innocents in his term of office, so no wonder the mutual dislike).
And finally, it looks like babies are more perceptive than Bret Alan!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Which is why I'm not worried about the increasing use of Spanish in America. More and more jobs in our service oriented economy are in need of bilingual English/Spanish workers to fill them. Which gives you an edge if you speak both languages. So why am I not worried? First, I have a Spanish-speaking girlfriend, and I'll eventually fall back on her to bring home the bacon if I have to, but second, I have that language disability, so I'm going to use the ADA to keep any job I have if they ever dare to even hint at letting me go because I can't communicate (except in caveman style) with half the customers.
Which brings me to our Blog of the Moment!
Written by Benny Lewis, self-described "polygot", the blog is frequently updated and full of helpful language learning stuff. And when he says "3 months" he means it! This is fast language skills acquisition we're talking! There's even a forum for others success stories. It's just too bad I'm disabled and unable to take advantage. Oh, well.
But at the Walmart near me, their "20 Items Or Less" lanes are separated from the regular lanes and you have to go through a narrow maze of check-out lane products (candy, chips, magazines, various non-food impulse-buy items) to get to the check-out. But if my basket starts out with 20 items when I enter and, due to Walmart's temptations, I add several more, then when I reach the clerk, I'll be over the limit. Does that mean they'll make me leave and go to the other check-out lanes? Or is their "limit" meaningless? And how many times has anyone been rejected by the quick lane because they had too many things in their cart? In my entire life, I've seen it once, and it turned into a major incident. It was quite horrible, with a scuffle between the clerk and the customer, with the manager finally involved and the lane shut down while the ruckus was allowed to run its course. Let me tell you, I never want to see something like that again when I go shopping, which is why that was the last time I tried to violate the posted quick check-out limit. Well, to be honest, the real reason it won't happen again is because in Obama's America, 20 items is all I can afford to buy. But I think I said that already. I really wish I picked up some candy while I was in that maze, though, but I was scared to do it. That obese woman check-out clerk was mean-looking and looked as if she could twist me into a pretzel (which is one reason I didn't get that tempting bag of pretzels in the check-out snack section; I didn't want to give her any ideas) with one arm tied behind her back! I wasn't going to take the chance.
image by I-5 Design & Manufacture under Creative Commons
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
- There is no sovereign but the State.
- You shall have no other beliefs but what the State provides for you.
- Never question the State’s motives.
- Always remember the State’s holidays, especially the ones where the military are remembered, and take the day off from work. For the rest of the year, you are to work in order to provide for the State but on those holidays, you are to not work.
- Honor the State so that your life will be long. Do not view it as a collective of selfish individuals with the power to employ legal force but as a group of benevolent angels who have everyone’s best interests at heart.
- Do not kill a State official, an animal protected by the State, or another tax-paying producer.
- Feel free to commit adultery as the State your sovereign thrives on dependence that results from divorce.
- Do not steal. Let the State do that for you.
- Do not lie to the State as any lie, regardless of its relevance to the investigation, will be used against you to make you a ward of the State.
- Covet everything that your fellow tax-paying citizen has and thus empower the State to take from them half of their income in order to enrich you and, more importantly, the rich supporters of the State.
- Never question the State’s economic reports. They are always correct and never mask what is really going on.
- Law enforcement officers, who serve as the hands of the State, are to be honored and regarded with the reverence that men used to give angels. They are infallible and do no wrong.
- Always honor and praise the military, regardless of what atrocities they may have allegedly committed. They are the feet of the State, stomping out the foreign insects who seek to deprive you of your freedom.
- Your life belongs to the State.
- Your possessions are on loan to you from the State.
- You liberty is not allowed within the confines of the State’s courtrooms.
- Always refer to the judges as “Your Honor” for they are to be honored for having to punish lawbreakers. They are always objective and never have any hint of personal bias. The higher courts, which interpret the laws, are to be given the utmost reverence as they have ascended beyond all human concepts of moral and immoral. They are smarter than you and must therefore be given the final say on all things.
- You shall not ingest any substance that has been banned by the State.
- All religious organizations are required to uphold the State as the ideal. It is the perfect idea of God brought to Earth after all.
- All money belongs to the State as it is the State that prints it.
- A large portion of your income must always be given to the State. The more you make, the higher the percentage must be given. It is your tithe for the benefit of the State.
- The State is never wrong nor is is fallible. Every law, mandate, decree, and judgment passed or issued by the State is moral, just, and good.
- Your children, from the firstborn to the last, are subjects to the State. From birth until they come of age, they are to be groomed for servitude via State schooling. As a parent, you are the State-affirmed manager to raise your children in a manner that meets its approval. If you do not comply with the State’s directives with regard to your children, your children will taken from you and placed in a foster home where they will be subject to State-approved drug abuse and sexual abuse.
- All State officials and their relatives are not subject to any of the rules. If they are caught, they are to be given a slap on the wrist.
- All substances that the State does approve, such as alcohol and cigarettes, will be subject to heavy taxation in order to discourage their use. If the poor are the ones who suffer most under this taxation, then the taxes will be raised so that they cannot enjoy them without welfare.
- From time to time, the State will require scientific inquiry into many important questions, such as the effects of toothpaste on dogs. These inquiries are important and are in the State’s best interest.
- You will be permitted to worship in accordance with whatever religion you so choose, so long as that worship regards the State above all others.
- All laws passed by the State legislatures are not to be questioned. As they are often elected by you and your neighbors, they represent your interests and never represent their own or those of external forces.
- You are allowed freedom so long as it serves the State’s interests.
- All people within the specter of the State are subject to its laws even if they leave the specter of the State for another.
- You must swear an oath of marriage before a proper State official before you do so in a religious ceremony. Doing otherwise violates the State’s will and you will be subject to confiscations upon the death of your spouse.
- The State is to have the first fruits of all inheritance. Since all wealth is earned at the approval of the State, this is merely the State receiving what it deserves.
- All land that is not owned by a private individual or group is owned by the State.
- The money collect by the State in the form of taxes is not the “people’s money” nor should the people be allowed to say where and how it is spent.
- All communications, whether it is by technological devices, letters, or by voice are subject to the State’s scrutiny.
- No private individual or group is permitted to own any frequency or wavelength.
- No person is to copy the work of other people who are bigger taxpayers than they are.
- Because the State prints money, the banks shall be owned by the State. All business practices they employ are at the behest or approval of the State.
- You are to honor the State at every government institution and sporting event by standing in attention to the State’s flag while reciting the State’s pledge or listening to the State’s anthem.
- Any explanation for any behavior that is contrary to the laws of the State which are committed by State officials should be accepted as proper justification. For example, if a Law Enforcement Official murders a man in cold blood, any official explanation of him being belligerent or dangerous should be accepted as justification for the murder and the official must be exonerated.
- All forms of religious expression have no place within the domain of the State as the State is your god and you shall have no other in its prescience.
- The State is not subject to any of its own laws, decrees, mandates, or judgments.
So anyway, I end up hearing about a lot of movies long before they’re made, and I thought I’d share some upcoming films I’m excited about, as well as my fun little side-hobby (in case you feel so inclined to play along… since it’s free to play and it’s within a browser, so you can easily play on the job or on a smart phone… not that I personally have either).
I avoided too many obvious ones. Yeah, I’m excited about the new Hobbit film next December, but we all knew that was coming, and I will probably see the Avengers and Bond movies when they come on cable. Still, these are some you might not have realized were even around. Also, in full disclosure of my investments, I do not own stock in any of these. I generally buy and sell junk stocks and IPOs, since that is how you make the most money.
NOTE: The World War Z trailer is fan created and based on footage from many different movies. Brad Pitt is starring, but Morgan Freeman (not to mention basically anyone else depicted) is not part of the cast.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I was just out in the drive washing the car, and the chickens were right there at the side under some bushes. It gave me a real country feel, like I was out on a farm or at least a large country home. There is something about that I just love. Don't get me wrong, large cities have advantages. I don't mean I'd want to always be stuck in some backwater. Maybe just visit, like on the weekends (unless the collapse comes, when I'd definitely prefer living in a rural area, and smiling while knowing Bret Alan is dealing with the urban chaos).
My mother had an aunt (long dead now) who lived in a small town north of Birmingham, Alabama. We stayed there for nearly a week on a journey to the west that was aborted, when we turned down south again and back to Florida (and that's a story for another time). My mother's side of the family was Southern and from Alabama, and I still love hearing her stories of being served by black servants (they had a black cook, a black maid, and some other blacks just to refill their lemonade glasses on hot summer afternoons) while lazily relaxing in the sun (I wanted to throw that in because Bret Alan thinks all white southerners are racist).
Anyway, we ended up at her house in that small town. Her place sat on a little hill, and to the side and rear of the house was a large yard, although really bigger than a mere yard. She grew vegetables in a garden and had a large enough patch of grass at one side to play croquet in, which my sister and I did with some cousins of ours who we'd never met before that day. One was a boy who had a glass eye (he'd lost one eye in an accident) and his mother kept saying how she hoped he never had an accident again or he'd be blind and she worried about it because he was accident prone.
At night we actually went outside to sit on outdoor furniture and sip cold drinks while fireflies whirled around us. It was the first and last time I saw fireflies in person. I wish we had them around here where I am now, but we don't.
Well, I still remember that brief country time clearly, and kind of miss it. It wasn't my only experience of small town ruralness, however. I would go on to spend several years living way out in the country myself, and have lived in more than one small town in the Pacific Northwest. When this blog finally makes me rich (hahahahaha) I'm going to buy me a second place in the country and go there when I want to get away from the stress of big city life.
In the meantime, I've got a few chickens to keep the dream alive.